A President Trump may be able to make small changes here or there, “But the setting of the bureau’s activities is determined by rules and regulations which are beyond his reach.” Presidents come and go, but the unelected bureaucracy always remains. For all his simpleton bluster, even the mighty Trump is no match for the leviathan.
Call it the rigor mortis of the robo-machines. About 430 days ago the S&P 500 crossed the 1973 mark for the first time - the same point where it settled today. In between there has been endless reflexive thrashing in the trading range highlighted below. As is evident, the stock averages have not “climbed” the proverbial wall of worry; they have jerked and twitched to a series of short-lived new highs, which have now been abandoned. Surely most thinking investors have left the casino by now. So what remains is chart driven trading programs, racing madly up, then down, then back up again - rinsing and repeating with ever more furious intensity.
- Stock Halts Added to Monday’s Market Chaos (WSJ)
- Fed Up Investors Yank Cash From Almost Everything Just Like 2008 (BBG)
- Drop in Stock Futures Signal Halt to S&P 500's Relief Rally (BBG) - at least until the BOJ ramps USDJPY up again
- Hacker Killed by Drone Was Islamic State’s ‘Secret Weapon’ (WSJ)
- Greece's Syriza to win election but face setback, poll shows (Reuters)
- Puerto Rico Spends More Than $60 Million on Debt Restructuring (BBG)
Earlier today FCX announced that in order to save its business, it would lay off 10% of its employees, and that it now expects $4 billion in capital expenditures for 2016, down from a prior estimate of $5.6 billion. Its 2015 capital expenditure budget currently stands at $6.3 billion. The resultant surge in the company, which exploded by 30% in the regular hours, made many wonder if there wasn't more to the story. The answer is: yes, there was, and moments ago none other than Carl Icahn announced an 88 million, or 8.46% stake in the copper miner, in a 13D which said that said the company was "undervalued" and that Icahn is now seeking a board seat.
"The hedge fund guys didn't build this country. These are guys that shift paper around and they get lucky. They are energetic. They are very smart. But a lot of them - they are paper-pushers. They make a fortune. They pay no tax. It's ridiculous, ok?"
Paging Carl Icahn... AAPL shares just broke below $100 in the pre-open, the lowest since late October.
For all those who need validation that they are part of a big hedge fund hotel club, which implicitly means there are few if any incremental fast money buyers left, and wish to know the top hedge fund holdings, here is a list of the 50 stocks which according to Goldman "matter the most" to hedge funds, the stocks which appear among the largest 10 holdings of hedge funds.
1/3 After last night’s debate I decided to accept @realDonaldTrump offer for Secretary of Treasury.
— Carl Icahn (@Carl_C_Icahn) August 7, 2015
Having broken its 200DMA earlier this morning, selling pressure has continued in the "as goes AAPL, so goes the US economy market" stock. Now down almost 12% from earnings exuberance, AAPL is in correction territory and is trading at six-month lows...
"In the past 12 months investors traded $18.2 trillion worth of ETF shares. For perspective, that means the amount of dollars exchanging hands through ETFs is now more than the U.S. gross domestic product, which stands at $17.4 trillion," Bloomberg reports. Or, put differently, the financial apocalypse draws near.
More and more insiders are warning of a potential systemic event.
"Hillary Clinton will propose a revamp of capital-gains taxes that would hit some short-term investors with higher rates, part of a package of measures designed to prod companies to put more emphasis on long-term growth," WSJ reports. Interested to know who might be pulling the strings behind the scenes? Read on...
"They are going to be toast. It will be one of our first levels of shorting the moment we start to see cracks, because it’s ripe with retail, emotional investors."
On Wednesday, Carl Icahn and Larry Fink engaged in an epic debate about the role ETFs play in perpetuating systemic risk. Icahn, taking a page from the Tyler Durden playbook, talks phantom liquidity before calling BlackRock "a dangerous company", and opining that Fink and Janet Yellen are "pushing the damn thing off a cliff."
While Carl Icahn's latest ramblings have brought attention to the 'bubble' in high-yield debt, we would note that the HY market has already dramatically diverged from the ongoing bubble in US equities and as we have been discussing for the past year, this is exactly the pattern we saw in 2008. However there is another aspect of the HY market that is flashing red, High yield debt downgrades are the highest since Lehman and the upgrade / downgrade ratio has tumbled to its lowest since the crisis... The last time this happened, Bernanke unleashed QE3 - are we about to see the same in a massive surprise to markets?